SPAIN’S National Police have seized a tonne of highly pure cocaine in a raid on a luxury villa in Tenerife, marking the largest haul of the drug ever seen on the Canary Islands taken from a Spanish gang.
A total of nine arrests were made as part of the ‘historic’ operation, according to the National Police, including a major Colombian drug trafficker there to oversee the drug deals and an Italian mafia boss who was trying to establish new markets within Spain for the illicit narcotics.
The raids also included eight other searches in the Canary Islands of Tenerife and Lanzarote, as well as in Malaga and Seville on the Iberian peninsula.
The authorities seized nine vehicles, €12,000 in cash, a money-counting machine, frequency jammers, a drone and a wide range of knives and other cutting weapons.
The police investigation began several months ago, after officers detected a Spanish criminal gang that was distributing cocaine that was arriving from South America.
While tailing the members of the gang, investigators suspected that they may be carrying a drug haul and so opted to stop and search them.
That was when the police found 100 kilos of cocaine in sports bags in the boot of the car, prompting the arrest of the gang leaders.
A subsequent search of the luxury villa where the car in question had been loaded turned up 950 more kilos of cocaine.
The nine members of the gang arrested as part of the raids were all placed in police custody.